Rolex - Hong Kong Watch Auction: THREE Hong Kong Monday, November 28, 2016 | Phillips
  • Manufacturer: Rolex
    Year: Circa 1969
    Reference No: 1680
    Movement No: D407667
    Case No: 2'229'541
    Model Name: 'Mk 1' Submariner
    Material: Stainless steel
    Calibre: Automatic, 1570, 26 jewels
    Bracelet/Strap: Stainless steel Rolex Oyster bracelet, 190 mm. maximum length, end link stamped 280
    Clasp/Buckle: Stainless steel Rolex folding twinlock deployant clasp stamped 4.69
    Dimensions: 39 mm. diameter
    Signed: Case, dial and movement signed
    Literature: For another example of a Red Submariner however without mk 1 dial, please see 100 Superlative Rolex Watches by John Goldberger, page 188.

  • Catalogue Essay

    Launched in 1967, reference 1680 was the first Submariner model to be fitted with a date function. Throughout its production run, reference 1680 was released in various batches, each with its distinctive dial and bezel attributes.

    The present watch is among the first examples produced. It is fitted with a rare mk 1 dial, evidenced by the 'meters first' depth rating and 'closed' sixes. The serial number also supports this hypothesis, and matches the dial configuration. The dial has remained black over time, which is correct for mk 1 dials. Statistics show that only mk 2 Red Submariner dials 'turn' a tropical brown shade. Mk 1 dials are considered the rarest, and earliest, models in the 1680 family. According to our research, only 1.6% of the entire production run feature the mk 1 dial. The luminous has futhermore aged to a warm orange tone, which is consistent with the hands. This aging process gives the watch so much character, displaying the rich history of the time piece. The clasp is stamped for the fourth quarter of 1969, leading us to believe the bracelet is original to the watch.

  • Artist Biography


    Swiss • 1905

    Founded in 1905 England by Hans Wilsdorf and Alfred Davis as Wilsdorf & Davis, it soon became known as the Rolex Watch Company in 1915, moving its headquarters to Geneva in 1919. Like no other company, the success of the wristwatch can be attributed to many of Rolex's innovations that made them one of the most respected and well-known of all luxury brands. These innovations include their famous "Oyster" case — the world's first water resistant and dustproof watch case, invented in 1926 — and their "Perpetual" — the first reliable self-winding movement for wristwatches launched in 1933. They would form the foundation for Rolex's Datejust and Day-Date, respectively introduced in 1945 and 1956, but also importantly for their sports watches, such as the Explorer, Submariner and GMT-Master launched in the mid-1950s.

    One of its most famous models is the Cosmograph Daytona. Launched in 1963, these chronographs are without any doubt amongst the most iconic and coveted of all collectible wristwatches. Other key collectible models include their most complicated vintage watches, including references 8171 and 6062 with triple calendar and moon phase, "Jean Claude Killy" triple date chronograph models and the Submariner, including early "big-crown" models and military-issued variants.

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Various Properties


Ref. 1680
A very rare stainless steel wristwatch with sweep centre seconds, date and bracelet

Circa 1969
39 mm. diameter
Case, dial and movement signed

HK$120,000 - 180,000 

Sold for HK$137,500

Hong Kong Watch Auction: THREE

Hong Kong Auction 29 November 2016